Blueberries for Blood Pressure Benefits – A Medicinal Food?
In the management of patients for hypertension and weight, linked to metabolic syndrome, we will find ourselves saying – eat more fruits and vegetables without always giving them our full attention – well I do anyway!
A paper just out in the Journal of Nutrition describes the effects of consuming 50gm of freeze dried blueberry smoothie equivalent they suggest to -350g of fresh blueberries for eight weeks by 48 participants (44 women & 4 men) with an average age of 50 and BMI of 38kg/m2.
This was not just a simple watch and see trial, they randomised it with a placebo, so whilst the numbers are small the methodology is sound. The controls were asked to consume 960ml of water daily – even this had an effect as I have previously described.
After the 2 months the groups were compared – as we would expect there was no difference between them in terms of weight, nor was there any change on serum glucose or lipid profiles but there were some impressive differences in two other markers.
- Systolic and Diastolic BP declined in the blueberry group by an average of -6% and -4% respectively, compared to -1.5% and 1.2% in the placebo group – even they felt loved enough to drop a bit!
- Plasma levels of oxidised LDL also had a great reduction in the blueberry group – falling by a whopping 30% vs 9% in the controls.
They conclude: Our study shows blueberries may improve selected features of metabolic syndrome and related cardiovascular risk factors at dietary achievable doses.
Eight weeks is not long enough to remedy long term health disruption and there is no long term study on this as an approach, but it makes good sense, solid science and positive outcomes blended with a tasty fruit. I hope I can use this to justify why I have blueberries on my Devon cream tea….
 Basu A, Du M, Leyva MJ, Sanchez K, Betts NM, Wu M, Aston CE, Lyons TJ. Blueberries Decrease Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Obese Men and Women with Metabolic Syndrome. J Nutr. 2010 Jul 21 View Abstract
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